Sunday, August 31, 2014

Don't Forget!

Great news!  $585 has come in for the WELL Challenge!  I'm trusting that the remaining $1415 will come in this next week!  I want to see $2000 raised so the orphanage can have a well!  A reminder you can give by sending a check to
Grace Church'
7060 Berry Road
Zephyrhills Fl 33540
mark it Orphan Fund
 
or directly to L2O
 http://life2orphans.net/make-a-monetary-donation.html please write in Druzhkovka (Druz fund)just let me know so I can know when we reach our goal!  Please mark that you'd like for it to go to the WELL project!
 
 
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Busy Sunday as always.  Sundays are NOT days of rest for a pastor's family!  But I'm glad that tomorrow is a holiday and everyone is off so we can relax together.
 
Hope you've had a good weekend and a restful day tomorrow for my US friends!
 
 
 
 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sweet Sarah

Usually I sit on the floor and fed Sarah in my lap.  When she first came home, I put her in a high chair but she hurt her legs one time with a teacher because it was so hard to lift her up and out.  she was too little to sit at our table so it just seemed natural to sit on the floor and put her in my lap.  I feel like she is getting "emotionally fed" at the same time I'm meeting her physical needs.  I'm not sure she had anyone hold her while she was being fed in the orphanage. 

Well this morning, I had fed her breakfast late and was getting lunch for everyone else and she scooted into the kitchen.  First of all she moves herself by doing a hop/crawl which is fine in the living room as there is nothing she can bump into but the kitchen has the big table and chairs.  Also the cabinets and the floor are almost the same color and I think that confuses her as we believe she can see colors/big objects.  PLUS she HATED the wooden floor and tries to avoid it when possible.  So for her to come ALL the way deep into the kitchen, scooting on her bottom was just adorable.   I said her name and she answered me back with her little noise that sounds like "Unhuh"  she had never done anything like this before and we just loved it!   I sat her in the big chair and fed her lunch early:)  I thought she needed a treat!   She was smiling the whole time. 

I love to see Sarah do new things and to see her happy.  We have such a bond, I'm so blessed to have this little sweet girl as my daughter.  Unless you are around her, it would be hard to believe how easy going and sweet natured she is.  When we brought her home, in the back of my mind I did wonder "when was the honeymoon going to be over?"  Well after 2 years....it's still on:)    I'd love her no matter what, don't get me wrong, but there is something so unique about Sarah.   Who would have known that the little blind girl in the "bedridden" room had so much love inside of her to give? 

If I sit down in the living room, Sarah comes straight to me to sit on my lap.  It used to be she wanted to be in her favorite rocking chair, now she just wants to be on my lap.  We kid around that we will have to buy one of those massive Lazy Boys recliners/rockers as she gets older so we will have enough room!   I feel VERY loved!   Sometimes I'll try and be really quiet when I come in but we think she sees enough shadow/light to figure things out and she'll come hopping/crawling to me.   What a treasure she is!

It amazes me how she has such a capacity to love.  With everything she went through, and including her very low IQ, the way she handles emotions and love is just amazing.  There is no other word for it.  It's like she was totally unscathed by the years of neglect.  There are things she doesn't know how to do, like kiss or even hug but she snuggles up into my arms. And she pats us on the back constantly. She loves to touch my face and will rub it. It is so sweet. 


One other thing about Sarah and Sam both, they respond to Christian music and preaching in an unique way.  Sarah twirls on the floor and claps her hands BUT only to Christian songs!  We have tested her over and over again.  The only song she has responded to that was not a Christian song is the song that begins the  Duck Dynasty show LOL.....I think that is a ZZ Top song LOL

Sam LOVES preaching.  He likes the old time Pentecostal preaching with all the extras added in:)  I have seen him sit for a solid hour watching a DVD of someone preaching.  He particularly likes Tommy Bates, a fiery Church of God preacher.  He also likes to hear his daddy who is not quite that loud or exuberant.   Sam will get upset if there is a guest minister UNLESS the minister is a very loud one! 

It is so unusual to see this type of response in children with all of their challenges. It's like there is something inside of them that yearns for God.   Jon and I really hold these things in our hearts, not quite sure of what to make of them but very humbled and grateful for these sweet glimpses into their little souls.


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Please don't forget about the WELL CHALLENGE!!!!!

 You can give by sending a check to
Grace Church'
7060 Berry Road
Zephyrhills Fl 33540
mark it Orphan Fund
 
or directly to L2O
 http://life2orphans.net/make-a-monetary-donation.html please write in Druzhkovka (Druz fund)just let me know so I can know when we reach our goal!  Please mark that you'd like for it to go to the WELL project!
 
 
Life2Orphans has already sent $1200 to help with the food shortage!   L2O is right in there as always doing everything that can be done for the orphans of Ukraine.  I'm so thankful for this organization!!!!!
 
My goal is to raise the $2000 needed for the well repairs and their goal is to raise $3000 to help with the other needs just for the one orphanage alone that our girls would be at right now if we had not adopted them. 
 
Right now I have $300 towards the $2000 goal!!!!  I have the faith it will all come in and come in quickly!!!!!



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ukraine on my mind......

So much on my mind, that I don't really know if I have a blog post in me.....

Heartbroken over the escalating fighting in Ukraine and the acknowledgement of our POTUS (president for non Americans) that Russia is behind it.  I'm heartbroken it has taken so long for our president to acknowledge the influence of Russia.  I think losing Crimea just might have given him a hint something was going on......

For some reason I love the one guy, he is the prime minister of Ukraine
 
this is not his best picture but he speaks clearly (and slowly for our leaders who need to understand the situation)  Tonight he was on the news explaining how Ukraine had been fighting and taking back territory  from the separatists but they (Ukraine) can not win against Russia.  He speaks with such dignity. 
 
That's how I think of Ukraine.  A country that was ruled by Russia for so many years, just free since 1991, a country that in spite of all the problems it had, still it had dignity and still does. 
 
 
My prediction is that Russia will overtake Ukraine....and then go on to take back other nations who were once part of the Soviet Union.  I hope and pray I am wrong and will be very glad to be wrong!    I don't necessarily think that Putin wants to bring back Communism but he does want the land that the Russians think is theirs. 
 
Wish we had some faith healer that could raise Ronald Reagan from the dead......  but since that is not going to happen, we better do some praying!
 
What do I think we should do as a country outside of trying to bring Reagan back from the dead and lots of praying?  Thanks for asking.....
 
I think we should slap Russia with many REAL sanctions, bring in US advisors to Ukraine, give Ukraine lots of money and equipment to fight with, put our missile shields back up in Eastern Europe....allow NATO and the UN to send in troops (some would be US troops).....that's what I think should happen.  I doubt it will happen because our president is a weak man and the world knows it. 
 
 
For those of you who hate to give money to other countries just know in a situation like this, by helping them, we are in essence allowing them to fight the battle for us.  We give so much money to things/countries that may end up hurting us.  Helping Ukraine would only help us!
 
IMO, Ukraine's freedom or lack of it, is a reflection of what is going on in Putin's mind.  If you see he is going after Ukraine, other countries may be in his sights too. 
 
I'm just a mom, my college degree is in theology and counseling (funny I've not used my counseling degree very much wonder why??  LOL)  I'm not a political major but I read....a lot.....a lot of boring books....I've been places, talked to a lot of folks....watch news, not just American news.  I feel I have a grasp of things.  I pray that God will bring peace to Ukraine and protect her as a sovereign country. 
 
 
Don't forget the WELL challenge of digging a well for the orphans of Ukraine.  These are real people, many I know personally, ones I've held and played with......
 
  You can give by sending a check to
Grace Church'
7060 Berry Road
Zephyrhills Fl 33540
mark it Orphan Fund
 
or directly to L2O
 http://life2orphans.net/make-a-monetary-donation.html please write in Druzhkovka (Druz fund)just let me know so I can know when we reach our goal!
 
 
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My heart is so heavy for the news out of Iraq and Syria.
Pray for protection for the people from ISIS
 
We are being threatened right here in our homeland.
 
 
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There is no real answer for this world but Jesus and I know that
I also know that the bible says that troublesome times will come on  this earth.  It's hard for me not to think the coming of the Lord is near and that these are signs of His coming.  I don't know when Jesus is coming back, but He is coming again.  Then there will be real peace....
 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Supper and my heart

Do you want to use Apple Cider Vinegar, which is all the rage right now  but hate the taste?  Try this dressing....1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts Olive Oil and this wonderful little flavor packet that has nothing bad in it....I put a few drops of lemon juice too, mix and shake well and YUM!  This salad dressing could not be any more healthier than what it is and it is soooo good!  The first time you try apple cider vinegar it might be a bit strong but NOW I crave it!  The Heinz unfiltered is supposed to be the very best type to use. 


 
 
 
 
So tonight was salad with the wonderful dressing above
garlic bread
lasagna
Pepperoni roll ups
 

 
 
I try and make it as healthy as possible
the garlic bread is Alexis brand, no perseverative
 
Lasagna
 
Brown 2 pounds of ground chicken
add jar of tomatoes sauce
1 cup of pureed carrots
package of flax seeds
 
boil box of noodles (tried whole grain just couldn't hack it!)
layer casserole dish with noodles
add meat mixture
then add 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
sprinkle mozzarella cheese & parmesan cheese
THEN on about 1/2 add cooked spinach
layer and repeat
on top layer cover with pasta sauce
then mozzarella and parmesan cheese
bake at 350 till bubbling! 
 
 
Pepperoni Roll ups
 
take  left over lasagna noodles
add pepperoni, pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese and then roll it up
stick a toothpick to hold it
fill up casserole dish
cover with pasta sauce and mozzarella and parmesan cheese
cook at 350 till bubbling!
 
 
My tricks to make it healthier...
ground chicken instead of beef (and vegetarian fed chicken only no antibodies)
pasta sauce READ the label no preservatives or oils other than olive oil!
All cheeses are low fat/skim and I try to buy organic when I can
pepperoni is NATURAL no nitraides
I sneak in the cup of pureed carrots and no one is the wiser
Same with the flax seeds....no one knows it is there
the spinach is for me and Jon can't hide that LOL 
 
 
 
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I hope you enjoy the recipe I shared.  My heart is heavy for the suffering in the world and this seems like a very trite blog post but there is so much in my heart it is hard to share in a short time. 
Pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
 
 
Please help out with the WELL CHALLENGE! 
Today I got offered an old car and we are going to figure out how to get the most out of it to be able to give to the well challenge. 
 
I have to say when I write about orphan needs....my blog falls strangely quiet.  Don't feel bad, so does my facebook posts.....  I know there are folks who care and give so thank you so much but I don't understand the quietness.....
 
I LOVE to give to good works and even if I can't always give, I support by reposting or sharing on my blog or something.......
 
Is Orphan care not sexy enough?  I don't mean that in a bitter way.....I'm all for giving to find cures to help fight diseases (if given to an ethical organization)  The first fundraiser I ever did was when I was in 7th grade and raised a few hundred dollars for the Jerry Lewis Telethon by going door to door and asking people to give.  I was so excited to turn it in at the end of the day to the Women's Club and I got to be on the radio for a minute.....
 
I get so excited about giving to the things I've shared about on this blog.  Whether it was to a specific family to adopt or whether it was to help support a little girl's surgery in Ukraine, or medical orphan care in China or helping Christians fleeing from ISIS or Ukrainians fleeing pro Russians....it's all good and just thrills me to be a small part of helping others. 
 
Helping THESE particular orphans, is so close to my heart.  My girls would be there with them right now if we had not adopted them.  Their are two children there right now that we had HOPED to go back and adopt....there is another girl who I held in my arms, we support her monthly and pay for her care giver....these are kids I KNOW, ones I've touched and played with.  Ones who have brought me to tears having to leave them.  Oh I wish we could have done more than what we did......
 
PLEASE help us reach our goal of $2000 for building a well for this orphanage as they have little water being brought in to them and almost 500 to care for....plus caregivers.....
 
You can give by sending a check to
Grace Church'
7060 Berry Road
Zephyrhills Fl 33540
mark it Orphan Fund
 
or directly to L2O
 http://life2orphans.net/make-a-monetary-donation.html please write in Druzhkovka (Druz fund)just let me know so I can know when we reach our goal!
 I would really appreciate it!  I'm pledging $100 personally!  I have gotten a check for $200 and hopefully we will be able to sell this car, even if it's just for scrap....
 
 
PS.  We gave to the Monier family for their daughter Grace.  They are home with her now and she is doing pretty good for an older child adoption.  Pray that her transition will continue to go well! 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The WELL challenge - A WELL for our birthday!

Well I'm the kind of friend who will help you spend your money but instead of clothes, eating out or going places, I can help you find wonderful projects to give to......


One that is dear to my heart is Life2Orphans!   They provided care for both our girls while they were in Torez Mental Institution.   I do not know if my girls, especially Sarah would have lived had it not been for L2O.

https://www.facebook.com/Life2Orphans  This is their facebook page.  If you look at the cover picture I know all three of those girls.  The one of the left is still there....we played with her almost every day.

This is what L2O wrote.......

SAVING ORPHANS LIVES; WATER, FOOD, FORMULA... THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE FOR DRUZHHKOVKA

WE ARE SHARING THE REALITIES OF WAR AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR THOUSANDS OF ORPHANS IN UKRAINE

$5,000.00 NEEDED
...

Bless these orphans with your love and PLEASE DONATE http://life2orphans.net/make-a-monetary-donation.html

Please write in Druzhkovka (DRUZ) Fund (we are always thankful for recurring donations).

We all know what is going on in Ukraine. It’s a scary, scary situation. People are terrified and panicked, running from their homes.

Now, can you imagine trying to move 145 children out of their home? Many of whom are special needs? Some of whom are Bedridden? Along with caregivers? Me either, but that’s exactly what’s happened in Donetsk
 
The kids from the Shakhtyorskiy orphanage had to evacuate. They had to leave because the fighting in Donetsk was too dangerous.

Many of these Bedridden Orphans came from the Torez orphanage. A few weeks ago the Torez orphanage was bombed. Blessedly, none of the children and adult orphans with special needs who live there were hurt (although, a few of the caregivers were). They did survive, though, Thank God!

But war does not know boundaries, and there are a lot of people in a lot of trouble. I received this e-mail from Life2Orphans: STATE OF EMERGENCY AT THE DRUZHKOVKA ORPHANAGE, DONETSK, UKRAINE, Druzhkovka orphanage is now overwhelmed with 375 orphans in an orphanage that did house ONLY 230. The Shakhtyorskiy orphanage had to leave the area of fighting and evacuate their 145 orphans and caregivers to the Druzhkovka orphanage. They are now bursting at the seams and need our help immediately!!

After transferring the orphans from Shakhtyorskiy the children are now sleeping on the floors on mattresses side by side. They had no additional beds, but they have found enough mattresses for all the orphans. The caregivers are sleeping wherever they can in the orphanage.

Please note these are the former Bedridden boys and girls from Torez, and they are now together at Druzhkovka. So happy to say, The Individual Orphan Caregivers are still with their children.

THEY HAVE MANY NEEDS THAT ARE URGENT:

Water – The water delivery system for several cities in the Donetsk Region has been damaged by war activity. They are having difficulties with their water/well and they need to have clean water. It is an expensive project because the water is in an area that is deep into the soil. Druzhkovka has a need for $2,000.00 to be used for digging, materials and costs of fixing their well.

Sanitary - Washing Powder, Toilet Paper and Cleaning Sponges

Hygiene - Toothpaste/Toothbrushes, Brushes, Potties, Hand and Body Soap, Bath Sponges

Food - Oats, Vegetables, Meat, Fruits, Juice, Flour, Oil, Canned Meat/ Beef, Macaroni, Rice – If you would like to choose the food -DONATE FOOD
http://www.life2orphans.net/food-project.html

Formula - Formula, Specialized Formula - Peptamen and Clinutren, Baby Cereals, Fruits and Vegetables

Diapers

Sanitary Napkins

We have estimated a cost of $5,000.00 to help the situation at Druzhkovka. $2,000.00 is for the well and the other $3,000.00 is for formula, food, sanitary needs, hygiene, diapers and other related items.

No one can deny these children and caregivers are desperate! Water, Food, just the necessities of life is needed to help them survive this crisis.

Bless these orphans with your love and PLEASE DONATE
http://life2orphans.net/make-a-monetary-donation.html

Please write in Druzhkovka (DRUZ) Fund (we are always thankful for recurring donations).

THANK YOU, KRISTI! WITHOUT VOLUNTEERS LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE SO MUCH FOR THE ORPHANS OF UKRAINE!!!

Thank You from the Chief Lyudmilla and Deputy Chief Olga of the Druzhkovka orphanage! And another huge Thank You from Chief of Shakhtyorskiy, Natalia for this emergency aid for the orphans of both of their orphanages!!!
 
 
 
So to explain to you, after we adopted the girls from Torez, all the kids under 16 were transferred. The boys went to  Shakytorskiy and  the girls went to Druzhhkovka  and  now the boys also have been transferred and they are all together at Druzhkovka.
 
The older girls (16-90 years old) were transferred out of Torez a few weeks ago when it was shelled and are now in Slavyansk.  Life 2 Orphans has yet to hear from them.  Please pray!
 
 
So let me tell you what Shad and I want for our Birthday (Sept 18th)
A WELL!!!!!

I would be thrilled to raise $2000 for this project.  You can give through their link
 http://life2orphans.net/make-a-monetary-donation.html please write in Druzhkovka (Druz fund)
Or you can send a check to:

Grace Church'
7060 Berry Road
Zephyrhills Fl 33540
mark it Orphan Fund
 
If you send through their website, will you just drop me a line and let me know?  I'd love to know that we all together gave enough to build a well. 
Water is sacred in Ukraine.  Mostly you can only get it an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.  Our apartment had a water tank and we were in town so it was a bit better but if we hadn't had the tank, we would have only had water for 2 hours a day!  AND that was NOT when there was a war going on!!!!!!!!!
Near the orphanage, they only could get water by the water truck!  Can you imagine????
 
We have a hand well in our yard.  Since we are on a well system (ran by electricity) I was worried if the electricity was off for any amount of time we'd need water so we had it installed years ago.  Water is so important!!!!

 
 
 
 
 
This is a recent picture of some of the sweet little girls.  Sarah and Selah would be there now facing shortages if we hadn't adopted them.  PLEASE help out if you can!  The little girl we sponser is living there as well as the boy and girl we had hoped to adopt.....so our heart is there with them!
 
 
here's a link to pictures of Doneskt taken recently, shows the killing of innocents
 
 
this shows the POWs paraded through Doneskt on the very street/park we ate lunch at....so very sad!!!
 
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Today I took Sarah to the specialist for her orthopedic problems.  I was determined to bring her walker so he could see how she walks with it.  As you can see "if there is a will, there is a way"  LOL  It was quite the undertaking but me and her "got it done"
 
So the doctor was great, really kind.  He wants us to try and ankle brace but is not sure if that will help her.  She only has mild CP when examined but she puts her limbs in various odd poises at times.  It's hard to explain and must go back to not being up and weight bearing much on her legs.  He was conservative about thinking of surgery which is good because I didn't think it would help much from what I read and he agreed with me. 
 
You can laugh at the pictures but I was by myself with a non walker and we had to figure out how to get everything in!  There was NO way I was going to try and get her to walk in, we'd still be there, she is quite slow!
 
 
 
 
 
I thought this was ingenious!  LOL
good thing her walker has a steering handle for ME!

 
My sweet Sarah Joy
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Steve's first day of college....and the 30th anniversary of MY first day of college:)

 

 
 
Off to College...

 
 
how can it be???
 
 
 
But I remember a day back in 2001....when it was Steve's first day of kindergarten.
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
And on August 25, 1984 it was MY first day of college! 
 
 

 
 
Memories!!!
 
 
 
Today was Shad's first day of 5th grade!
He had a really good day.
 
 
 



Got these pictures of Sarah looking out the window today.  She is drawn to the light.
 

 
 
 

 
 
Precious girl!






Selah was decked out in purple!  

 
 
 
 
 
And this is my crowning achievement!
Homemade breakfast tortillas!
they are individually wrapped in Saran wrap and ready for the microwave in the mornings!
 




So that was my day in pictures.  What a busy day!  I got up early and walked three miles.  Took the car in for air in the tires (light was on)  Came home to get the littles up and ready for their teachers.  Shad and Jon had already left for school & work.  Then Steve left for his first class....  I ironed the next two weeks worth of clothes for Jon! ( I'm weird I LOVE to iron, just find it hard to find the time.)  Steve got home, I went to pick up Shad and dry cleaning and grocery shopped.  We got home put away the groceries and I cooked supper (baked chicken, tortellini, green beans, salad and garlic bread.  AND I made this awesome recipe my friend Kandi gave me.   I cooked two packages of turkey sausage, about 7 eggs and a handful of cheese.  combined it all and rolled it up in tortillas, wrapped them in Saran wrap (Satan's invention) and frozen them.  NOW in the morning, the boys can just microwave them and breakfast is served!  Steve can't eat cereal, it upsets his stomach and I'm too busy in the morning to cook breakfast.  This is hopefully a more healthier breakfast than getting something on the go.   Anyhow I am BEAT!!!   We all went to bed last night at 9:30 and that is my goal for tonight too!!!! 

But I have to reminiscence about a day 30 years ago.  Believe me 30 years has flown by.....
When I left for college, I had no support from my family.  They did not want me to go for a myriad of reasons but the main one was just they had never left our town and didn't feel like I could make it plus they had a smothering type of love.  My great aunt Boots who had raised me had died the previous year and it just left my other great aunt Ruby and my grandmother.  We were not close at all.  It was not like we were fighting all the time, just there was no deep attachment.  But they did not want me to go and fought me all the way.  However years later, when Jon and I married, they both said that they thought I'd done the right thing by going to college....let me tell you THOSE words were hard won words!

Anyhow thankfully this friend of mine and her mom cared enough about me to drive me down to Lakeland and drop me off at the college.  Jina and her mom will never ever know how much that HUGE kindness meant to me!!!!!  

The night before I left my best friend Angela spent the night with me.  We slept in our favorite bedroom, that had windows all the way around the room.  I think the room had 9 windows in it.  I could hardly sleep for excitement and fear.  My friend and I were so close, I couldn't' imagine leaving her!   That was the hardest thing for me. 

When I got up that morning, my aunt wouldn't' speak to me.  How is that for a send off?  So I got in Jina's car and off we went......  The ONLY thing I remember from that trip was them stopping in Cross City Florida at the Hardee's to eat breakfast!  LOL  Me, I couldn't keep anything down LOL!
Now any time I'm up that way and pass that Hardee's I remember that day!

The next memory I have is of them driving off and leaving me at Southestern.....YIKES!  I was all alone!  Didn't know anyone....

I guess there were folks there telling us what to do.  I changed clothes and headed off to the cafeteria to get my student ID taken  (as seen above)  Back then I dressed up for everything.  I remember exactly the dress I put on- sort of a sailor dress, with navy blue espadrilles (remember them?) and panty hose (of course!)   I did meet a new friend Kim who became a life long friend right before going to the cafeteria...in all places, the BATHROOM!  Our whole wing shared a huge bathroom and she was in front of the mirror working on that 80's hair....LOL!  She loves to tell the story...  she says she asked me how I liked SEC so far and I said "it's so new and different" in a very southern drawl:)   For some reason we can still quote that to each other and crack up!  One thing I will always remember is the SMELL of the dorm.  It was not a bad smell, it must be some type of cleaner, cuz every now and then I'll smell that somewhere, and I'm immediately transported in time back to my college days.

I look back at my young self and am amazed that I had the courage to do what I did.  There were a few people who encouraged me but all in all, I was so alone.  It was hard but it was so good for me!  Of course I'm glad that our son's experience is vastly different and that he has supportive parents but there is something to say about having to stand on my own two feet at such a young age,  Having to fight and work so hard, gave me a confidence that no one can take away from me. 

There are a few things in life that I absolutely KNEW I was supposed to do and one of those things was to go to Southeastern.  I had never heard of it before getting a pamphlet in the mail BUT as I turned from the mailbox with the pamphlet, God spoke to me.  Just as sure as anything I've ever known, I heard that I was to go to that college.  I had NO idea where it was or anything about it.  It was about a year after getting that flyer that I went to college.  I guess having that assurance that that was where I was supposed to be, gave me the courage.

I started working the next day and between many jobs (at one time I had three jobs) grants, scholarships and loans, I made it through.....

I'm really thankful that I took that step of leaving home, going to college....I feel it was the step that lead me to Jon and to the family I have now.  It's seems quite holy, now looking back on that time of my life. 


Steve doesn't have a clear path right now for his life.  He is interested in being a correctional officer but he can't even apply until he is 19 years old.  He is somewhat interested in college and decided that the State college near us was a good fit to see if that is what he wants.  With a grant, his full semester is paid for and that is wonderful!  State colleges are so much cheaper, I couldn't believe the difference!  He found his writing class interesting.  He is taking it and English and a 4 hour computer class.  So he just has 11 hours this semester, it's just how it worked out so I think it is a good start.  And I have to admit, I'm so glad he is still home with us.  We have a close relationship with Steve and enjoy him tremendously!!!!


Well that was our day in a nutshell, the boys have cleaned the kitchen and put up some clothes (oh yeah I did 6 loads of laundry!)  I think this energizer bunny has just about ran out of batteries!  I'm exhausted!  



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lunch pictures

Pictures from lunch today.  The expression on Sarah is so funny, it's like hurry up and take the picture then feed me!  She is wearing her Easter Dress 2013.  My friend had taken out the darts in it so she could wear it this year since it's so cute.  This morning as I was dressing her, I said she wouldn't be able to wear it again.  Sure enough there is a rip on the left side!  I LOVE that she is so chubby she is busting out of her clothes!!!!!  I admit Sarah and Selah have lots of clothes.....   but there are some outfits I just love and this is one of them.  But I guess I'll just have to love the pictures now!  BTW, she ate 2 full cups of soup and a bowl of ice cream for lunch! 


 
 
Sam LOVES corn! 

 
So we let him do it himself......
 

 

 
 
he was all about the corn!

 
 
 
Shad loves ribs.  He is so southern! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Selah and her nurse had almost matching outfits in church.  I hate that I didn't get a picture of them.  They looked so cute in black and white!
 
Well tomorrow is the BIG Day for Steve, his first day of college.  Shad starts back to school too.  We are still working on our week's schedule trying to figure out everyone's schedules.  We have some doctor's appointments for the week too. 
 
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Wanted to remind you all of our Orphan Ministry that we are helping to support
So far $600 has come in for this ministry that I have  sent directly to them.  I'm hoping some have given directly to the charity itself. 
 
This link tells you the ways you can give to the Little Flower Project
 
 
This is a link to give to specific children's surgeries...
 
 
AND here is the GoFundMe  page
 
 
Please give to this very worthy charity!
 
 
Hope you all have a great week!!!!
 
 
 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Snakes in the toliet......and other fears I have known...

FEAR....  that just looks like a scary word.

What is your secret fear?  Well I have several that I'm willing to share.  Number 1 on the list is sitting down on the toilet only to find a snake in it!  I've read too many stories like this one
http://www.wkrn.com/story/25964164/alabama-construction-workers-find-venomous-snake-in-toilet
or read this one
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/07/16/snake_bites_man_s_penis_from_toilet_bowl_a_brief_history_of_when_rats_snakes.html
If I get up in the night to go to the bathroom I HATE turning on a light since that makes me wake up so I go to the bathroom and worry about sitting on a snake.  I don't even like to open my eyes when I get up.  I can walk through my house with my eyes closed.  I've tried to change diapers with my eyes closed before LOL  It's weird I know.....  We live in the country with a well and septic tank....all ways that a snake could get in.  BTW, this is NOT an unreasonable fear as I have found one rattle snake in our fellowship hall, one moccasin in our church and just last week a black snake was found in the church foyer.   Steve has had a snake fall on him from a tree and we had a rattler by our front door....the list goes on.  But yet I hate for a light to come on at night.  My husband calls me Dracula. 

Second fear IF I can not reach my son or husband on the phone, I am absolutely positively sure they are dead or dying.  Once right after Steve started driving by himself, he took Shad to the movies.  They had not been gone 5 minutes till we hear all kinds of sirens, I call his cell and he does not answer.....I get in the car and go into town praying I don't come up on a wreak.   They were fine, never found where all the sirens went to, and didn't tell them I did that for a few weeks!

Third fear SINKHOLES.  When I was a kid, I was told of a man riding a horse and how they both got swallowed up by a sinkhole somewhere near Gainesville Florida.  That mind picture has never left me.  Then about a year ago only about 20 miles from our house a man was sleeping and part of his house including the part he was in, was swallowed by a sinkhole!  He was never seen again....  At first I thought we were safe since we live in an area that has lots of water underground ( some theories are that the farmers pump too much water out of some areas and that causes the sinkholes)  But then I found that we are not immuned from sinkholes just because we live in an area that is not pumped out.   We have a crack on a wall that has been there for awhile and recently our bedroom door was not shutting properly, one of the things to look for according to the news.  Thankfully Steve noticed the door was falling off the hinge, non related to any structure change LOL!



There are many fears that vie for fourth place....too many to list.  If people knew all the places my mind goes I'd probably be locked up by now!  Most of my fears involve things happening to my husband or kids.  I've cried over the thought of every one of their funerals at some point in my life. 
I fear getting sick or having a medical issue and not being able to care for the kids. 

Life is fearful, no doubt...but I'm so glad God tells us to "fear NOT".   He knows we are just mortals, subjected to the laws of nature. living in a world of death and decay.  Yet He tells us to fear not......

If you remember a few months before the accident a lady came up to me in a mall and told me she had a word from God and it was FEAR NOT.  I've clung to that many times.

When I'm looking towards God and putting things in His hands, usually my fears are stilled.  It's when I'm holding on to things, trying to work things out in my own mind that I begin to worry and have fears.  So I encourage you to give your fears to God and focus on eternity.  Knowing that one day everything will be made new, all the wrongs will be righted....that gives me the courage to press on in an uncertain world. 

Of course the snake in the toilet fear is just something I'm going to have to learn to deal with, maybe I should try a small flashlight....

Friday, August 22, 2014

Just an Ordinary Day

This has just been a ordinary day.....

Started this morning out eating breakfast with my bestie, then a trip to the grocery store with no kids:)   Steve went and bought his books for his college classes today and got his ID picture done:)  Thirty years ago, I was doing the very same thing at college....   Then Steve, Shad and I volunteered at Habitat for Humanity.  Sometimes I'm so proud of my boys, today I was just watching them work and figure out somethings and it just made me happy!    We got a chance to go through the books section and Shad got a whole set of Hardy Boys Mysteries!!   YEAH the joys of working at a thrift store!   I even got a Nancy Drew book that looked brand new for my collection.  I love Nancy!

 Tonight we are going to watch an Indian Jones move together as a family.  Jon kept the little ones so we could go to HH.  Fridays give me a day out (even if I'm working LOL) and a day for him to spend with them.  Sam is so happy when daddy is home.  Sarah is too but she wanted me to hold her the minute I walked in the door.  She is all about Mama:)  She will sit on my lap as long as I sit down.  I've read countless books with her perched on my left leg.  We keep saying we will have to buy one of those really large recliners for me and her when she is older and much bigger LOL.  Right now she fits perfect.  She also sits with me to watch TV, she is well versed in what is going on in the world. 

Selah had a quiet day, no teachers or therapists on Friday just her nurse who keeps everything calm and peaceful for her. 

Ordinary Days are wonderful.  As I watch the news tonight, all of the various tragedies  in this old world both near and far.... I'm thankful we are not part of the news tonight.  I know what it is like to be the lead story on all major news networks in two different states and it is no fun.  There was a terrible 5 car accident on a bridge near here, and I saw one of the survivors walking dazed.  I remember seeing video of me walking just like that near the Erie Canal.   I'm grateful that we are not dealing with anything like that tonight.  I'm thankful our whole family is together, under one roof, healthy and safe.  For that I am completely grateful for "just an ordinary day" 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

College Grant

Today we found out that Steve has gotten a full grant to go to college and his first term is completely paid for:)  Yeah!  What a relief.  Now I'm still working on Shad's Step Up For Student grant and hoping that he will get it for this year.  He has had it since kindergarten (it's a grant that enables him to go to a private school for free)  This year I have submitted things over & over again and gotten no where.  I thought it was all in but checked back on their website and they are again asking for something.  How annoying.  We've done this for 5 years, submitted the same paperwork year after year and this year has had so many problems!

Selah stood in her stander today for the first time since the surgery.  She did great, seemed to be comfortable.  Her left leg is noticeably shorter now since the surgery but we can put a block under it and she is fine.  Her therapist is ordering a specific one for her.


Steve is working at Habitat today and I'm here with the little ones.  Since it was Selah's day for a bath, I thought it would be a good idea to give the little ones an early bath too.  It was a good idea, I have two sleeping babies!!!!!  Woohoo!  Of course I may regret this about 10 pm tonight!


I'm reading the remarks that Richard Dawkins made when asked about aborting a child with Down Syndrome.  He said "Abort it and try again, it would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice"   RD is an atheist who wrote the book "the God delusion"   It is so easy to say look at him & his remarks and you can see what the lack of God in someone's life will do to them.   There is so much I could say but to sum it up (and keep me from getting in trouble) the guy is a total immoral jerk.....  It's hard not to hate someone who says something like that but his words come from a dark deep spot in him.  He needs God in his life......



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No Ice Bucket Challenge for me



Y'all know I'm all about raising money for good causes.  For some reason I never felt "good" about the ice bucket challenge.  I know two friends who lost their fathers to ALS and a pastor's wife in our area who is battling it right now.    One of our nurses specialized in ALS patients for several decades and has told me stories of their lives.  It is a horrible disease!  I've now read the Catholic church is discouraging participation in this fund raising because the ALS Association gives money to embryonic stem cells research.  That is cells that come from aborted babies.
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2014/08/20/ice-bucket-challenge-cincinnati-archdiocese/14342977/

Before you think I'm some cruel inhumane person, please know we have had to make some decisions about trying stem cell therapy for Selah.  We KNOW the feeling of desperation and of wanting your loved one to be well.  I've researched and looked into it, talked to a few doctors and we just could not go any further with things.   We hope in the future there will be trials that could use her own stem cells but right now there is nothing we can find. 

I believe as a Christian, all our decisions whether it is where we give or what kind of medical treatments we seek out should be thought out thoroughly.   In the article there is an alternative given " The Archdiocese asks that any money raised is sent instead to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa, where the research is only conducted using adult stem cells."

In this high tech medical world, we need to carefully look at what we chose to do and support.  We are cognitive of this as we have had many medical decisions to make about our children.   It is hard to deal with  and it is easy to become desperate.  I know many will disagree with me over this matter and tell me that we can't control everything we give to nor can we know exactly where the money might go.....  and that is very true.  However if I know for sure that an organization is involved in some type of research that I'm uncomfortable with, I feel an obligation to not participate. 

My heart goes out to anyone affected by this disease and certainly this has raised awareness of the disease and interest.  I'm sure good will come out of it.  But we can never let "the end justify the means"! 

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Well I'm off the wagon for the week....I've been skipping walking to eat breakfast with one of my besties who will work as a full time teacher this coming school year.  This week has been the "getting the classroom ready week" so we've managed breakfast for the whole week so far LOL!    I'm going to be so sad when she goes to work full time.  This feels like our last hurrah!   But we've had such a good time eating together every morning & catching up on life!

Heard some awful news today.  One of my little ones' therapists had her home burn down last night!!!
http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/26324964/firefighter-injured-in-dade-city-fire
There is a link where you can give to them at
http://www.gofundme.com/d9qxso  I'm hoping our church can do something for them also!!!

Selah had her 6 week post op doctor appointment and things look good.  She is free to be back on her stander and back to much more vigorous therapy.  She is showing a slight curvature of her back that we will look at again in a few months.  The doctor is not worried but we want to absolutely make sure that she has no issues with that!  He almost thinks it is from how she was positioned on the xray table but didn't want to do another xray today as they had to do it twice today as it was.  We will certainly keep our eye on this!

Hope you all are having a great week! 













 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1,000th post

Oh my this is the 1,000th post I've written.  that in itself is a little scary!  This post should be deep but I'm not sure that is going to happen but we will see LOL  Most days I come to blog and I really don't know what I'm going to say.  Oh I could blog up a storm about 3 am when I wake up with my mind just running.....you don't know the amount of blogs you have missed out on that I am have written in the middle of the night.  LUCKY YOU LOL!!!!

Well first the personal news, I'm OFF the H pylori meds!  My tongue started peeling off in strips and my lips went numb.  Yesterday I was a mess, even our nurse took my blood pressure since I looked so bad. The doctor feels like since I've done 8 days I should be ok but I'll be retested in few weeks.  The meds are so strong they just knocked me for a loop!

This morning I went to meet a friend for breakfast and a wasp got stuck in my hair!  Thankfully the restaurant manager was able to beat it off of me.  LOL  It is a very good thing I am not too self conscious as that was quite the spectacle!   I'm quite allergic to wasps so I'd probably have had really numb lips if I had gotten stung!

Everyone is doing fine around here.  School starts next week for Steve and Shad.  Steve goes to buy his books on Friday.  Shad will have the same teacher as he did last year for which I am so grateful.  Shad is a good kid, but he needs a really strong hand and she is the one for him!  We work together good.  The little ones' schedule has increased as they all have more services starting this week.   It keeps us busy!

Well on this 1000th blog.....what's going on in my mind?

The Riots in Ferguson MO are one thing I'm thinking of.....   Sad that people would use an incident to cause problems for so many in the community.  Terrible that the police officer is not being supported by his department-if he was criminally wrong, then charge him if not support him.  From what I am seeing/reading there is plenty of evidence that backs up the officer's story.  I believe IF there were evidence to charge the officer, he would have been charged by now.  It's also ridiculous that  order can not be restored in that town!  There is no clear voice taking authority in the situation.  Rules change from day to day.  I have never heard of such foolishness.  Set a curfew, and arrest anyone that is out after curfew....  But this going back and to, trying so hard to be everyone's friend....reminds me of a parent who can't control an unruly child and tries to placate the child.  Guess what?  It does NOT work!   And what the heck is the president doing getting involved????  Is that not a clear overstep of authority???

This is the bottom line with what I think about RACE....  LET IT GO!
The folks who seem to be so focused on RACE are the ones stirring up things.  Ok things were crappy in the past for different races.  Let the past go!  When I look at a person or a situation, I don't think of it in RACE terms.  Would this shooting had been different if the young man was white or if the cop was black?  Of course it would have been different and that is stupid.  We would have never heard about it.  Things happen all the time but you never hear of because it does not meet certain standards.   Do I think there is any evidence the cop shot this guy just because the guy was black?  No- the guy had just robbed a store and had drugs in his system.  It sounds as if he was very aggressive and since he was so aggressive only minutes before in a store, common sense would make me think the young man was still being aggressive.    If that is not the case and the cop acted with malice, then deal with the cop!  Let the law put him away.  But why burn down business of good people in the community?????  OMG!  I do not understand that mentality at all!!!!  

Ok.....  y'all want to tackle anything else?

Immigration?
If someone came here ILLEGALLY send them back.....  (that was simple)   Problem today, we listen to too much.

Israel/Gaza- support Israel

ISIS- destroy them

Support Ukraine

Robin Williams/ sad but personal responsibility  is still involved.   Circumstances in life can be awful and yet some people cling to life.  Personally I believe when I was depressed- diagnosed as clinically depressed and bulimic (two different occasions) I was totally self centered.  When I got my eyes off of ME and my sad circumstances, change came.   Does that mean I think anyone who commits suicide is an awful person?  Of course not, but I think we have come so far as we are starting to glamourize depression and suicide and that is not healthy!   Don't condemn someone for being depressed, support, get them help, be their friend but the person has a responsibility also.  Depression/Circumstances  may not be a choice, BUT a person has a choice of how they chose to deal with it.  For the record, I am ONLY talking about depression, not PTSD, bi-polar, or any other diagnosis. 

Life can suck....I've had a sad life since the day I was born.  I've dealt with all kinds of tragedies, and disappointments so based on the circumstances of my life I could chose to focus on the harsh realities and I have at times.  I think I have my PH.d  in sadness.   But I make a choice DAILY to not go to the dark side.  For me, I put my focus on God and eternal truths.  That is what gets me through life.  AND as Christians, the bible tells us to "weep with those who weep"  so we have a responsibility to our friends and family who may struggle with depression.   If you know of someone who is struggling, be there for them!!!!

So now that I've managed to tick everyone off.......



we heard this on the news today
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/08/19/brookline-jogger-turns-hero-after-stroller-rolls-into-reservoir/hHhWpXiAXWCZuyJrm2qGwK/story.html
two children in a stroller, both seemed to be ok.    Looking at the scene my husband said the difference was that there was a earthen bank where they could pull them out.  In our situation, there were only concrete walls, no way to do anything but tread water till help could come.   Thankful that this family can be rejoicing today that all is well. 


So lots of things on my mind.  Some you may not have wanted to hear.....

It's crazy to me that I've written 1000 blog posts and have had close to 2 million readers....   Thank you all for your readership (is that a word?)  Your support, prayers and messages.    If you have read all 1000 posts, there is probably some medicine you can take for it....... 






Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Boy in the Mirror!

 
This morning Sam discovered himself in the mirror!
He had never paid attention to the mirror or himself before.  This was so cute!!!!